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Exclusive: HP creates Mobility division to focus on consumer tablets, hires Nokia's ex-MeeGo boss Alberto Torres to run it

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HP has hired former Nokia executive Alberto Torres to run a newly-created Mobility division to focus on tablets.

HP logo stock
HP logo stock

We've just been tipped to a memo circulated internally by HP's Todd Bradley — who runs the company's recently-merged Printing and Personal Systems Group — announcing the creating of a new Mobility business unit underneath him that will be responsible for "consumer tablets" and "additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers." The news comes almost exactly one year since HP killed the TouchPad, effectively ending Palm's run as a hardware company and throwing webOS itself into an uncertain future as an open source platform.

Running the new Mobility unit will be Alberto Torres, who departed Nokia after running its MeeGo operations — operations that were doomed once it became clear that CEO Stephen Elop would be taking the company down the Windows Phone path. He'll be reporting directly to Bradley and starting in early September. Interestingly, HP's "soon-to-be launched commercial tablet" will remain in the charge of James Mouton, who runs the PC group.

How this all relates to Gram is unclear: the focus of this Mobility GBU certainly seems to be wider than webOS alone, though it stands to reason that Gram's work may fall under Mobility's sphere of interest and influence.

More on this as it develops.

As the world's largest PC and printing business, we make it matter for hundreds of millions of people each and every day. Today we are taking an important step to serve even more customers in new and exciting ways.

I am pleased to announce that we are creating a team dedicated to delivering the best mobility solutions in the industry. With this move, we are building on our commitment to re-invest in mobility via dedicated leadership, focused research and development, amazing new products and a growing suite of applications and services.

Our new Mobility Global Business Unit initially will focus on consumer tablets and will expand to additional segments and categories where we believe we can offer differentiated value to our customers. Our existing notebook teams, including our soon-to-be launched commercial tablet, will remain within the PC GBU under James Mouton at this time.

To lead the Mobility GBU, I am thrilled to announce that we have recruited a proven executive from the mobile-device industry. Alberto Torres, who most recently oversaw the MeeGo products and platform at Nokia as Executive Vice President, will join HP as Senior Vice President of Mobility, reporting to me.

I am excited to have Alberto join us. During his seven years at Nokia, he held a variety of critical leadership positions, including two years on the company's Executive Board. In earlier roles at Nokia, Alberto ran the company's premium brand, its accessory and CDMA businesses and corporate strategy. Prior to Nokia, he was a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he worked with industry leaders in mobile devices, consumer technologies, software and Internet services. A Ph.D in computer science from Stanford University, Alberto currently holds vice chairman roles with the firms Bang & Olufsen and Opera Software.
Alberto's first order of business will be to accelerate our tablet strategy and begin to execute products against our consumer/SMB target. The exact structure of his team will follow that strategy.

Alberto's start date will be September 3. Please join me in welcoming Alberto to HP and in supporting him and his team in their important work.